Brait wants to cut Virgin Active stake - Sky News report

The valuation that would be attached to Virgin Active is unclear.

Brait, the Johannesburg-listed investment holding firm, has hired Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, to seek a buyer for a minority shareholding in Virgin Active, according to a report by Sky News.

Sources told Sky News that Brait was exploring a number of options, with the most likely outcome expected to involve a Virgin Active stake acquired by a long-term capital provider such as a pension fund or sovereign wealth fund.

The valuation that would be attached to health and fitness club chain, Virgin Active, was unclear on Friday. The fitness chain has about 240 clubs, with some 1.2 million members across eight countries, including the UK, Italy and South Africa. Virgin Active accounts for 55 percent of Brait assets.

Brait bought a majority stake in Virgin Active four years ago. Brait owns 71.9 percent of Virgin Active and a majority stake in Premier, the fast-moving SA consumer goods company which owns Blue Ribbon breads. It also owns 63.1 percent of UK-based supermarket chain Iceland Foods, and 18.5 percent of UK fashion retailer New Look.